From Ready Nutrition:
In modern America, going without toilet paper for even a single day is unfathomable. The thought of it is cringe-worthy to most people. That’s why any time a major storm is about to hit, and everyone rushes to the store to buy up supplies, one of the first items to run out is toilet paper.
However, for any situation that results in the break down of society and lasts more than a couple of weeks, stocking up on toilet paper is not a viable option. The average family of four goes through about 240 rolls of toilet paper per year. So unless you have a large home, keeping anywhere near that much toilet paper is only going to take up precious space that would be better used for essential survival supplies.
As sacrilegious as it may sound, toilet paper is not essential to your survival. In fact, it’s only been in common usage around the developed world for over a century. Many of the alternatives that humans have been using for thousands of years are, shall we say, unpleasant. However, a few of these old school methods are bit more palatable, and much more sustainable, such as:
In the past, it was typical for the wealthy to use strips of wool, hemp, or cotton to clean up after a bathroom visit, while the poor were stuck using, hay, moss, or even stones. The most obvious advantage to using these fabrics, is that they can be cleaned and reused. But more than that, they’re also more comfortable and provide a thicker barrier for your hand.
From a prepping perspective though, there is one downside to this idea. Cleaning these reusable wipes would require a considerable amount of water. Unless you have a well on your property or live near a river or creek that flows year round, reusable wipes are not economical. If on the other hand you do live somewhere that has a natural source of water, you do have another viable alternative to toilet paper…
Another alternative would be to repurpose old bits of cloth that have been tattered or torn. This gives the cloth a new purpose and can help you conserve your preps. Many old-timers have been collecting these strips of cloth and saving them in their “rag bag.”
One of the most common methods of cleaning your rear throughout the world, is to simply rinse it with water. In India, the vast majority of the population will simply rely on a splash of water or a hose, while the Japanese and the Europeans use bidets. Since you’re preparing for a situation where running water may be out of the question, you’d have to rely on the Indian method of scooping water out of a bucket and repeatedly splashing it on your behind. Not exactly sophisticated, but it is somewhat effective. At the very least it could help prolong what toilet paper supplies you do have.
For thousands of years humans have been…